I just noticed: no more crashes! Thanks, KDE team!

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Wed Aug 3 03:50:02 BST 2011

Alex Schuster posted on Wed, 03 Aug 2011 00:47:14 +0200 as excerpted:

> Dotan Cohen writes:
>> I then realized that I don't remember seeing any KDE applications crash
>> in KDE 4.6 or now in 4.7. In fact, it's been so long since I remember
>> seeing Dr. Konki that KDE 4.5 probably didn't crash anything, either.

The only crashing problem I'm having now, and it's a regular one, is that 
one of the plasmoids I have installed crashes plasma when I shut kde/X/
the-computer down, so it doesn't actually shut down until I close the 
crash dialog.

It's a plasmoid from kdelook, so not really a main kde problem, *EXCEPT* 
for the poor plasma design choice of running all of plasma single-
threaded, so a single misbehaving plasmoid can either freeze or crash the 
entire plasma-desktop.  That *DESPITE* the fact that the trend these days 
is to have separate sandboxed processes for everything, see chrome/
chromium, and firefox is headed that way -- but still the quite new 
plasma just /had/ to be designed so a single misbehaving plasmoid would 
kill it, even tho they were deliberately making it extensible and 
inviting people of all sorts of skill levels to design plasmoids for it, 
the VERY SAME reason chrome/chromium did the sandboxed-process thing and 
firefox is headed that way!  They had the opportunity to design plasma 
for robustness in that regard from the very start, but didn't.  Now they 
have backward compatibility issues to worry about if they try to fix the 
problem.  Oh, well... <shrug>

> I see it every day. I'm on 4.7 now, and things seem to be a little
> better now. But still, Kontact (mostly because of Akregator) crashes
> daily here.

FWIW, I'm VERY MUCH enjoying kde4 now that I switched away from kdepim 
entirely, thus allowing me to set USE=-semantic-desktop.  I had forgotten 
what having a fast system was like, but now I'm remembering! =:^)

> Some kde4init stuff always crashes short after login, but it
> does not seem to matter much. Dolphin crashed today without apparent
> cause, which is somewhat annoying because in this case all instances
> crash, and always have two Dolphins with a total of six views. And right
> now one Dophin is acting weird, one panel does not update when I scroll
> or select stuff. Another one showed an empty directory, I need to press
> F5 to see its contents. But at least some weird drag&drop problem seems
> to be solved, files got marked afterwards as if the mouse button was
> pressed.

Why are you using so many dolphins?  Dolphin doesn't really seem to be 
designed for that sort of use -- if it was, it'd have options (as does 
konqueror, performance section in the config) both to have separate 
windows use separate instances (the memory settings, minimize memory uses 
threads on the same instance so if one crashes they all do, while never 
minimize forces separate instances for each window, so if one crashes, 
it's just that window gone), and to keep instances preloaded, so they 
don't take long to launch.

Or alternatively, do something like I do and use mc for sysadmin work, 
and gwenview for images and video, so there isn't much left for dolphin 
to actually do -- it's basically an enhanced file-open dialog, and as 
such, it doesn't generally stay open that long anyway.

> Oh, and the Amarok constantly uses 70% or one of my two cores. But it
> doesn't crash :)

The last time I booted with akonadi, after I had migrated away from kmail 
(the only thing I had that used it) but was still using akregator, so I 
couldn't kill USE=semantic-desktop and unmerge the whole kit-n-kaboodle 
as I eventually did, despite the fact that I had nothing actually needing 
akonadi any longer and I've no idea what caused it to load, it started 
using 97% of one core.  Luckily I have four cores so one single-threaded 
endless-loop doesn't really affect me that much, but when I saw that, I 
tried to terminate (SIGTERM) it.  Only it wouldn't terminate, I had to 

Even tho I was actively searching for an akregator replacement in ordered 
to get kdepim and thus the semantic-desktop junk off my system entirely, 
that was enough akonadi misbehavior for me, and I deleted /usr/bin/
akonadiserver, added it to (PKG_)INSTALL_MASK and remerged the akonadi-
server package and restarted kde, just to be sure I didn't get any funny 
errors.  I didn't, and the irritating warning about nepomuk being off 
went away as well.  The headers or whatever might have been needed for 
kdepim-common-libs, thus the dependency, but the binary certainly wasn't, 
and if it was going to be so rude as to take all available CPU on a core 
when I didn't even need it, it was going to get terminated and removed 
from my system, WITH PREJUDICE!

Of course, at that time I didn't know that within about 12 hours, before 
I restarted kde again, I'd have settled on a replacement for akregator, 
got it setup, and unmerged both akregator and since that was the last 
kdepim app I was running, all of the kdepim libraries, plus akonadi-
server, etc, as well.  And after it was gone I could finally kill 
USE=semantic-desktop and remerge kdelibs, dolphin, etc, without it.

As I said, the system feels lighter and faster, now! =:^)  Maybe I'll try 
semantic-desktop stuff again... someday... when even the disposable paygo 
phones are a dozen-core-plus and come with half a terabyte of RAM! =:^)

>> So the time to express appreciation for the KDe and Plasma devs. You
>> guys are doing tremendous work and I thank you for that!
> Indeed. Despite my constant ranting here, it's free after all, and it's
> great so many people dedicate their time to this project.

What I really appreciate is that kde is customizable enough that those of 
us who don't need semantic desktop can turn it off. =:^)  (Same thing 
with effects, too.  Significantly, unlike gnome-3, those who don't have 
fancy graphics cards, can turn off all the fancy effects and still have 
the same shell, not a fall-back that they've removed much of the previous 
functionality from, tho I have reasonably decent graphics and the effects 
are for me another reason to like kde4.  =:^)  Too bad they couldn't have 
used the same principles of robustness when designing plasma. =:^(  )

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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